Made by Me!

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Tilly's Megan Dress finished!

I have recently finished my Megan dress from Tilly and The Buttons sewing book 'Love at First Stich'. I chose a Japanese poplin cotton from Robert Kaufman which has little leaves all over it in orange and the odd clump of red on a white background. I thought it went nicely with my hair!

It was a pleasure to make, the fabric was easy to work with and the dress, being meant for beginners, was super simple and once I had cut out the pieces and took a brief look at the instructions I did it all without needing to worry too much about studying how it was put together which was refreshing. It was so nice to make something simple, the pattern itself just fit together well too which is sometimes the frustrating thing about sewing up some patterns. I think it looks pretty good on as well which is a bonus! The only alteration I made was to pull in the back a little and shave some of the seam off as it would have been huge otherwise! I may have made it a little tight now but I love the slightly closer fit with this dress and it shows off the figure nicely. And as I have finally started working out after months and months of laziness I feel it will probably be better in a few months time ;-) The thing about taking photos of yourself regularly in something newly made and posting it for the world to see is you realise how awful you can look and you super analyse yourself so I kind of felt that I needed to do something about it. It also makes you analyse what you wear and what you are choosing to make - basically I have started to look more closely at what actually suits me and my body shape.

I am so happy to have finally sewn something up as it feels like ages! I have been having what can only be described as a lull in my sewing these last few weeks. Sometimes I think it takes so much of my spare time, albeit in a very pleasurable way, that I sometimes forget to do other things with my life as passionately! The sun has shone and it's been so lovely in London recently that I have decided to take myself out of the house to get some sun on my face. It's such a shame that sewing is an indoors and pretty solitary past time and in my house my sewing machine is squirrelled away in the corner of my bedroom where there is little light to see clearly, especially as the tree in front of the window blocks everything out in the summer months with its fresh growth of leaves.

I have therefore taken time during my newly found weekends to among other things visit friends, enjoy a beer or two in the sunshine and go to gigs, I have seen the Arctic Monkeys, Lorde, Arcade Fire and the Pixies (who were ace!!) in the last few weeks. I have now come back to this blog after irresponsibly not writing much for a while to realise I really miss my sewing! Sometimes you need a break to feel re-invigorated! Do you agree?

The one thing I have become aware of in the last few weeks is that I have been taking stock of what I wear on a day to day basis more than I ever have and trying to work out what I need more of and what I should avoid! This analyse has been in part due to seeing lots of blogs talking about me-made-may (which I want to involve myself in next year) and also from the simple fact that by starting this blog I have been making more handmade clothes and therefore buying less off the shelf, which has forced me to think about what I really want from my wardrobe. I tend to make things with a lot of patterns - and this Megan dress is no exception - but I realised that the one thing I felt lacked in my wardrobe were plain tops, trousers and jackets that can be thrown on over anything. So from now on I will make it my mission to create more of these in amongst the other more patterned items. I do get to the point sometimes where I have lots to wear but nothing really to wear it with! Not the original aim of making more handmade really!!!

The items I really enjoyed wearing in the last year have been dresses which I never really have before. The shop bought things I have purchased recently and worn a lot of have also been dresses and to be honest so simple and plain that I wouldn't have thought to make something similar. But it's been interesting that the items I want to wear aren't always the pieces with the most vibrant pattern, which is what I tend I sew up most regularly. So I think I need to address my approach to fabric buying and think more about making separates that are easy to pair together, plain shirts, basic tops in block colours, t-shirts and vests etc...there is of course a place for pattern still but making things that look great but that when you come to wear them they don't quite work because nothing fits with them severely limits the amount of times you wear them.

Now I have finished sewing up Tilly's Megan dress I am looking forward to the next item I am going to make up - I have the Anna dress from Hand London and some fabric ready to go as well as some denim to make up my self drafted skirt again, which I have re-drafted a little since my post. After this I want to try and make some trousers and have picked a pattern to try, a pair of trousers from Simplicity and Cynthia Rowley.

I don't usually go near these patterns now but I really like the outfit here. The top is too high cut for me - I may been exercising more recently but I don't have defined abs yet!!!! I thought the whole thing was pretty cute. What I would like to do is make a nice plain top to go with it and going forward try and start thinking about outfits rather than making separates and hoping something goes well with it!

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